Sunday, August 11, 2019

Misdirected Misanthropy

‘Our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country… creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly over-harvesting resources..the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable?'

A reported snippet from the manifesto of Patrick Crusius, the El Paso shooter; seemingly a ‘white supremicist’ in much the same way that David Attenborough is.

As I have noted before self-styled terrorists and racists are often just people who have a general problem with humanity, whilst erroneously imagining that their beef is only really with part of the species.

Like David Attenborough I am something of an atheist and a bit of a misanthrope, so I have some sympathy with the problem if not the solution. 

The experience of ageing, of being part of modernity is sadly often one of witnessing ruination — of oneself and of the people and places one senses are being slowly wrenched away as time passes. 

Take Antigua. It’s not the place I first came to in the 80s. Like Crusius I could start to play the blame game. 

For a start, it’s possible to have a generic rant about rising population, over-stretched resources, moral decay, corrosive capitalism and so on while sounding both bewilderingly conservative and radical-lefty at the same time.

Where it gets a bit more interesting is when one starts blaming specific groups of people, particularly those than are in some way other to one’s nostalgic fantasies.

If these invasive/destructive types are generally better off or more powerful than oneself, one is usually deemed to be a ‘terrorist’, especially when one takes up arms against them. Here in LAG these might either be braying gringos or affluent hedonists from the capital.

If however they are less well-off and powerful than oneself  in the case of Antigua ‘indios’ from outlying communities who pile in to sell their crap and generally clog up the streets — then one is typically deemed to be a ‘racist’.

Crusius named Mexicans as his problem. Not the ones in Mexico, but the one’s he believed were churning up his turf.

If this is racism, it’s rather different to the kind of racism that drove certain Germans eastward in the last century in the hope of finding new space in territory then occupied by those they deemed lesser beings. With the Nazis one could argue that the ‘hate’ started first, its targets blamed for nothing other than their own existence.

With the likes of Crusius there’s surely something more situational going on, where Hispanics crossing the border become the surrogate for a much deeper problem with his existence as a member of Homo Sapiens.

1 comment:

norm said...

I've had a running debate with a friend over the carrying capacity of our Earth for a few decades. I think it is somewhere around 20 billion, he thinks we have passed the number, passed it a few decades ago in fact. My reasoning is that we are still a primitive people, many things that will enable our species to live well in the future have not been thought of yet. Things like a way to turn off gravity, growing food inside buildings cheaply, making better metals in space (smelting and forming metals in zero gravity will change material science in a profound way), taking minerals out of seawater; we have not scratched the surface. I feel the author in question is just too short of vision to understand that we humans are innovators, we find solutions to problems. Killing each other, is not in most cases the best solution. I think you will find that some 30% of humans are card carrying Luddites, deathly afraid of the future and the changes it will inevitably bring.